Running Analysis: Breaking the Half Marathon World Record (Abraham Kiptum)

Running Analysis: Breaking the Half Marathon World Record (Abraham Kiptum)

August 17, 2019 12 By Kailee Schamberger


Hey guys it’s Dr. JP and today we are
going to analyze Abraham Kiptun as he broke the world record during the half
marathon in Valencia! The first thing we will look at is his pacing throughout the
race. Kiptum ran the first 5 kilometers in 13 minutes and 56 seconds.
Then, the second 5k split at 14 minutes and six seconds. Now, this was obviously
very fast; however not enough to where anyone would expect the world record to
be broken. What was truly amazing is what happened
during the second half of the race. Kiptum picked up speed and ran the third
5k split in 13 minutes and 35 seconds… and he barely let up this pace as during the fourth and final split he ran it in 13 minutes and 41 seconds.
Similar to when Kipchoge broke the marathon record, Kiptum ran the
second half of the race at a faster pace. Doing this really showcases Abraham Kiptum’s mental discipline and drive. Now the footage we will be looking at is Kiptum during the final 5k split. As I mentioned earlier, he still ran this
part of the race faster compared to the first and second 5k split; however, there
may be some breakdown of form ..as he ran this slower than the third 5k split. I
would have loved to use footage from the third 5k split; however, this was the only
decent footage I can find throughout the entire half marathon. Looking at this
footage, let’s look at general parts of his running, such as stride frequency
which is the rate of steps he takes and stride length. He presents with a solid
cadence of 180 steps per minute. This is a pretty quick rate of steps and is a
common stride frequency for many elite long-distance runners. What actually sets
Kiptum apart from other elite long-distance runners is his stride length.
He presents with a long step length as based off a few calculations, it
seems to be around 2.03 meters. This is comparable to Mo Farah, who is
considered to have one of the longest strides as well. This is obviously
impacted by leg length, but this is also attributed to leg mobility and power
produced through those legs. Now, taking a closer look at the legs when the foot
hits the ground, he seems to be striking around the mid-foot area. Landing around
this area is pretty common in long distance runners. Now let’s take a look
at the landing relative to the body. Initially, it may seem like he is over
striding because of the long stride he has. Just a quick tip for anyone
relatively new to my videos. Overstriding is when someone takes too big
of a step. This causes a bit of a braking mechanism to occur during
landing. Leading to wasted energy as well as adding increased stress to the knee
and ankle joints. Anyway, taking a closer look at the landing, his foot still lands
relatively close to the body center of mass, which would be almost right under
the hips. The landing is still slightly farther from the body compared to the
other long-distance runners we have looked at before, but at the same time
remember… he has long legs. Another way to see whether he’s over striding is
looking at the shin angle. Typically, during foot landing, the shin angle is
perpendicular or slightly less in elite long-distance runners. As you can see,
this is the case for Kiptum as well. Moving up to the hips, we will take a
look at how much vertical movement is going on as he runs. Compared to most
long-distance runners, there is not much vertical movement going on. This is
showing efficiency as he’s making sure to have adequate amount of vertical
force and is really maximizing force directed forward. However, if we do
compare this to my most recent breakdown, which was Eliud Kipchoge breaking the
marathon world record, you’ll see that Kiptum does have a bit more bounce. This
is more possibly due to likelihood of increased power generation through those
legs as he’s running at a faster pace. This may also be due to running at a
slightly slower cadence compared to Kipchoge. A slower cadence typically causes
increased vertical movement. Looking at the trunk, you can see he has good
postural alignment. He keeps it in basically a straight line;
however, he does present with a pretty decent forward tilt especially for a long
distance race. This tilt helps with forward momentum as well as a improved
force generation from the hips during push off. Now looking at the body from
the front, we will compare movement from the right and left side of the body.
Symmetry is very important for efficient running. As you can see, even when going
at a record-breaking pace, he is maintaining symmetrical movement from
the arms and legs as he runs. Now looking at arm movement, he presents with a
similar style like Eliud Kipchoge. He keeps his arms high and close. He
presents with mostly rotation in his arm swing, but still not letting those arms
cross mid line. This helps on counteracting rotational
forces from the legs, so we can maintain a straight path toward the desired
direction. Looking at the head movement, he does look around throughout the race
for situational awareness, but overall, he presents with a neutral position of the head…
basically looking straight forward. Doing this helps maintain core stability which
allows for maximized force generation from the legs. And… that’s it for the
quick analysis on Abraham Kiptum! I hope you guys enjoyed the video! If you
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content! I really appreciate you guys for taking the time to watch this. Please
comment below what you think!… And as always… THANK YOU FOR WATCHING!!!!